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« Elsewhere | Main | Q&A With Tom Naughton, Part One »

January 10, 2008

More Carb Linkage

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* The Whole Grain Council and the Idaho Potato Commission want you to know that "carbs are back." General Mills does too.

* Diet iconoclast Seth Roberts interviews Gary ("Good Calories, Bad Calories") Taubes. (Link thanks to Dave Lull.)

* Dave also points out this Corby Kummer piece about a newly-established Slow Food University. Readable only by subscribers, alas. But here's a free-for-everyone Henry Hoffman slideshow entitled "A Slow Food Tour of the Po Valley." Coffee fiends won't want to miss this Corby-hosted video about high-end brew. Slow Coffee sounds good to me.



posted by Michael at January 10, 2008


The Whole Grain Council and the Idaho Potato Commission want you to know that "carbs are back." General Mills does too.

As the old saying goes, consider the sources. Though I must say the recent demonization of carbs never seemed to make much sense to me.

Posted by: Peter on January 10, 2008 9:43 PM

As my college-age son just pointed out to me, all the cuisines of the world, the ones that have been feeding people for thousands of years, seem to be based on one starch-staple or another. Here is a nifty little survey of some of the facts:

So I'm not too surprised if carbs are back. They can't have gone far!

(Though I should hasten to add that most of these cuisines are not based on refined starch -- not to mention refined sugar!)

Posted by: Lester Hunt on January 11, 2008 3:19 PM

I've watched food fads come and go over a long life, and I well know that what is anathema today will be the salvation of humanity and health tomorrow, and vice versa. Many of these alleged experts flaunt academic credentials, which leads me to the belief that they are involved in ersatz science. A wise internist, skeptical of the faddists, once told me to enjoy all things moderately; the body has its own defenses against unhealthy food and drink, and these work well unless they are overwhelmed by immoderation. That was good counsel.

Posted by: Richard S. Wheeler on January 11, 2008 6:36 PM

Hey Michael,

I've been "away from my desk" for a couple months so I don't know if you've posted updates on the oil diet -- I forgot what it is called. How's it going? Have you lost any weight drinking oil?


Posted by: Kris on January 13, 2008 10:02 PM

Here's my take on coffee. Before worrying about anything else (terroir, roast-profile etc) I try to remember two things.

1. Make it fresh. That means beans were roasted within the month (max) and ground immediately before use. Nothing stales like coffee.

2. Never over-extract. Sadly, nearly everyone does. For press-pot, use coarser grind, water at about 80C, no stirring, gentle press. (All utensils hot, of course). For Atomics or stove-top caffetieras, drink only the darker first half of the run-through (then taste the putrid second half on its own and you'll understand what "over-extracted" means). As for home-espresso, spend the serious dollars, practise heaps...and, even then, good luck! (Maybe with lots of sugar and lots of coarse-foamed, scalded milk no-one will notice a lousy shot...but where's the love?)

But help is at hand! On a shelf behind those two guys gushing in the Corby video...isn't that a vacpot? Looks like a fancy British or French affair...I'm down here in Oz, but most of you guys are in the USA. Your attics and garages are full of old Corby and Silex vacpots, some with their gaskets intact and flexible. If the percolator was coffee-hell, the vacpot (which it replaced mid-century) was coffee-bliss.

With a working vacpot and a grinder (the best grinder you can afford), you can start worrying about terroir and lighter roast-profiles etc. Just don't grow a ponytail and use expressions like...well..."terroir".

Posted by: Robert Townshend on January 14, 2008 4:32 AM

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